Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2007 Assessment Report

An introductory letter from RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A.

At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we're guided by the principle that we are stewards of private resources that must be used for the public good. In keeping with that principle of good stewardship we need to be accountable for how effectively those resources are deployed. Achieving a measurable impact is the best way I know of to hold ourselves accountable toward our mission of improving health and health care for all Americans. Central to that mission is the belief that we must be transparent about who and what we support and about the results of our work.

For the past decade, we have examined our Foundation's performance through an annual report to our Board of Trustees. This report tracks performance along three key areas:

  • Sound Program Development: Ensuring that the programs we develop are targeted to the right issues, designed carefully and reviewed rigorously;
  • Measurable Program Impact: Ensuring that all programs we support are aligned with our mission and are making a difference;
  • Solid Customer Service: Being responsive to our grantees, colleagues and collaborators.

This assessment report also reviews the Foundation's overall grantmaking trends, and tracks:

  • the number of proposals we receive and subsequently support;
  • the areas or fields of work under which they were funded;
  • whether they were to new or existing grantees; and
  • how widely the findings from our grantmaking are distributed.

We believe better information provides the groundwork for better decisions. This report is part of a group of evaluative efforts that the Foundation undertakes on an ongoing basis. Other activities include our Program Results reporting, our program evaluations and our Anthology book series.

To those whose responses to our inquiries formed the basis for the underlying assessment report—a sincere thank you. Your feedback is invaluable to us. Most importantly, we've listened and we are acting to facilitate your work: strengthening our decision-making processes and clarifying expected outcomes, and facilitating closer and more satisfactory relationships with you.

We are committed to achieving results and to making a difference in your lifetime. Our staff are passionate and deeply committed to our mission. It's not just a job. It is a deep conviction for the Foundation, its trustees and the staff who work here. We are privileged to be able to be a part of it.

We hope that this assessment report will generate discussion about accountability and public reporting, and about how we can be more transparent as we join together to make significant improvements in America's health and health care.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

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